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Caregiver Charged With Medicaid Fraud And False Pretenses

CONTACT: Ultan Doyle, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5512

August 17, 2010

A joint investigation by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, has resulted in a caregiver of a disabled woman being charged with billing Vermont Medicaid for services that were never provided. Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that Tracy Thurston, age 40, of Fairlee, Vermont, was arraigned on August 17, 2010, in Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division, Windsor County on 13 felony counts of Medicaid Fraud, and 13 misdemeanor counts of False Pretences.

According to papers filed in court, Ms. Thurston is accused of invoicing ARIS Solutions, the agency that processes timesheets for Vermont Medicaid waiver services, for services that were not provided to a disabled woman, resulting in the receipt of $839.04 from the Vermont Medicaid Program. She is also accused of forging another person’s signature on the timesheets submitted to ARIS. Ms. Thurston pleaded not guilty to the charges. For each of the Medicaid Fraud charges, Ms. Thurston faces a potential fine of up to $1,000.00 or an amount equal to twice the amount of payments obtained, or up to ten years in prison, or both. For each of the False Pretense charges, Ms. Thurston faces a fine of up to $1,000.00 or up to one year in prison, or both. The court imposed standard conditions of release that govern Ms. Thurston’s conduct while the case is pending.

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